Interview with Rachel Sullivan, Director of marketing at Metis Communications
Rachel Sullivan is the director of marketing at Metis Communications, where she develops marketing strategies that catapult emerging companies to the next level. She leads the agency’s marketing initiatives and helps clients implement compelling marketing campaigns that drive leads and create brand awareness. Rachel previously managed content and digital marketing at emerging tech companies, including SundaySky, and at global tech media company IDG, and has helped clients Know Your Company, Adobe EchoSign, Insightly, XL Hybrids, Maxwell Technologies, and others to implement and grow their marketing strategies.
Your Journey as a Marketing Professional.
I began my career in tech PR at Metis Communications working with emerging companies in a variety of industries from mar tech to SaaS to cleantech. This was my first introduction to the world of startups and I was hooked. I loved helping young, high-growth tech companies build awareness and find their place in the market.
After a few years, I realized I was ready for a career shift. I moved on to roles in marketing and content at startups in New York. I worked with small, scrappy teams and learned a whole lot. No two days were ever the same.
At this stage, Metis was looking to expand its offerings and provide more marketing services. It was the perfect opportunity for my blend of experience, so I came back to lead and develop our agency’s marketing team and services, which is where I am today.
What are the primary marketing channels you have worked on? What will be your advice to young marketers on each of these channels?
What you say on each channel matters much more than the channel you choose. Your marketing mix will shift over time – the industry is constantly changing. In B2B over the last few years, we’ve seen leads require more and more touches before they ultimately convert. Whereas one content download might have led to a conversion, now the path may look like one content download, two ad clicks, one email open, one chat conversation, then a demo request. How you allocate spend across channels has to adapt along with the changing prospect journey – and you’ll have to continuously optimize and adjust.
What’s really important is to understand how you can start to build a relationship with your prospect. Throughout all of your marketing touches, you’re asking your prospect for time and attention. What are you giving them in return? How are you helping them reach their goal (which is not to buy your product, but to be better in some aspect of their job)? How are you making it as easy and enjoyable as possible for them? Is your story clear – and connected – across every channel? Putting the customer at the heart of everything you do will bring you more success across every channel.
Plus, you need to be comfortable with trying a new channel, which means being comfortable with failure. Marketing’s all about experimenting and refining. You’ll learn something from every test, even if it wasn’t successful. You can optimize your approach as you go.
What are some of the important marketing software that you have used and found to be really useful for your company?
A marketing automation tool is incredibly important to manage all of your campaigns and measure effectiveness. I’m a fan of HubSpot and have been a customer of theirs at different companies for many, many years.
Would you like to share a few words about any marketing software that you use?
At Metis, we went all-in on HubSpot and use it for our website CMS, content marketing, social scheduling, email marketing, contact management, and CRM, and reporting. It’s so much easier for us to have everything connected through one platform and helps keep our data clean. But, if your company uses other tools – like many of our clients do – HubSpot’s still great in that you can connect and integrate everything and still get a clear picture of how your marketing campaigns are performing.
Your 2 line advice to people entering in the marketing domain.
The best marketers are both data and creative driven, and while you individually may not have expert status in both sides of the brain, you need an understanding of and respect for both. Marketers must understand how to read the data they have to make decisions on how to better their approach, as well as how to use data to personalize experiences for their prospects or customers. Just as important is finding a creative and clear way to share your company’s story. It’s one of the best ways you can differentiate your brand from competitors.